Can I take the CCHI certification exams outside the United States?

As the CoreCHI exam can be taken online, eligible interpreters may obtain CoreCHI certification from outside the United States.

However, the oral exams (CHI-Spanish, Arabic, and Mandarin, as well as ETOE) are administered exclusively at Prometric testing centers within the United States. Therefore, if you wish to obtain CHI or CoreCHI-P certification, you must be able to take your oral exam in the United States.

Is the ETOE™ exam replacing the CHI™ oral certification exams or future language-specific exams?

No! CCHI recognizes that the most effective and direct way to evaluate interpreting skills is through a bilingual oral performance exam like the CHI exams, which test all interpreting modes. However, creating and maintaining such exams is very resource-intensive, as it requires a certain number of pilot test takers, subject matter experts, and qualified raters of a specific language to be continuously available. For many languages, this is currently unfeasible. That’s why CCHI explored how the same skills could be evaluated in a different way by conducting the EtoE Interpreter Testing Study in 2020, where interpreters took a monolingual ETOE exam and a bilingual CHI exam, and their results were compared. The study provided us with a scientific foundation for a new approach to evaluating interpreting skills. If you are interested in the details, please read the summary report here (it contains the link to the full report, too).

Therefore, the new monolingual ETOE exam is not intended as a replacement for bilingual exams. It is an opportunity to test the skills of interpreters of any language in a more efficient way, and it closes the gap for languages where performance certification has not been available until this moment. While we are excited to launch this universal skills-based exam, we will also continue to develop bilingual exams in the order that makes the most sense from a feasibility/sustainability standpoint. In fact, the ETOE exam may help point us in the right direction, as it will give us a clearer idea of which languages are most represented among U.S. interpreters who want a higher-tier certification.

I’m CoreCHI™ certified, or work in a language other than Spanish/Arabic/Mandarin. Is the CoreCHI-Performance™ Certification mandatory for me?

All CoreCHI certificants qualify to take the ETOE exam and earn the CoreCHI-P certification. At this time, transitioning to the CoreCHI-P certification is voluntary. Starting in 2025, this transition will become mandatory, and the CoreCHI certificants will have to earn the CoreCHI-P certification within 1-2 years.


What is tested on the ETOE™ performance exam? What are the exam specifications?

CCHI’s ETOE performance exam (oral exam) tests certain cognitive skills required for healthcare interpreting in a monolingual (English-to-English) format. It consists of 22 scored items in the following sections:

1. Listening Comprehension – one (1) audio item
2. Shadowing – one (1) audio item
3. Memory Capacity – eight (8) audio items
4. Restate the Meaning – seven (7) audio items
5. Equivalence of Meaning – four (4) text items
6. Reading Comprehension – one (1) text, between 170-220 words long, with three (3) questions based on it
7. Speaking Skills in the Language Other Than English – one (1) unscored item; candidates need to describe the image in their LOTE. (ASL interpreters will be describing the image in English.)

For more information, you can review the ETOE Exam Specifications or watch this webinar explaining the ETOE exam content. A free practice test is available here.

What is CCHI’s Refund Policy?

All CCHI certificants, applicants, and candidates must comply with this Refund Policy. Submitting an application online constitutes understanding of and agreement to follow this Policy.

1.       Examination Fees

You may receive an exam fee refund ONLY IF your eligibility to take the corresponding exam has not expired, AND:

  • you have not scheduled your exam appointment yet, OR
  • if you have cancelled your exam appointment with Prometric, CCHI’s testing vendor. (Please be aware a $25 cancellation/rescheduling fee paid to Prometric will not be refunded.)

After you have taken the examination, OR if you missed your exam appointment, NO refunds will be granted.

Requests for a refund must be received prior to the end of your exam eligibility period:

  • For the CoreCHI™ exam – 6 (six) months from the date of the application approval;
  • For a CHI™ exam – 12 (twelve) months from the date of passing the CoreCHI exam.

CCHI does not grant refunds after that date (i.e., after the end of your eligibility).

CCHI charges a processing fee of $12 on all refunds. This amount is subject to change without notice.

To request a refund, you must contact CCHI via email at

To apply for a future exam after cancelling and receiving a refund, you must pay full costs.

2.       Application Fees

Application fees are non-refundable.

CCHI does NOT refund the following processing fees for:

  • Initial application
  • Renewal application

Reversing transaction charges in connection with payment of these fees without requesting a refund constitutes non-compliance with this policy and may incur disciplinary actions.

Do you have a Handbook or Manual about your certifications?

Yes, the CCHI Candidate’s Examination Handbook and other clarifying information can be found at the Eligibility webpage (

How can I change the name on my CCHI account and application?

Only CCHI staff can change the name on your account after verifying the information. Please email a valid document confirming your correct spelling of the name or name change to our Registrar at The attached file must be either in JPG, PNG or PDF format; other formats are not accepted.

Some examples of accepted name verification or name change documents:

  • non-expired U.S. driver’s license
  • non-expired passport
  • marriage or divorce certificate with the name change
  • court order confirming name change.

What is the Certified Interpreter Oath?

In 2015, CCHI adopted a tradition to administer the Certified Interpreter Oath at conferences and other professional events to affirm our certificants’ adherence to the healthcare interpreter code of ethics. The text of the oath is available at the Certified Interpreters wepbage.

What is language proficiency?

Language (linguistic) proficiency is the ability of an individual to communicate and/or perform their job in a specific language. Proficient speakers demonstrate both accuracy and fluency, and use a variety of discourse strategies.

For interpreters, language proficiency in two languages is a starting point; they also must possess interpreting skills that enable them to successfully convert meaning from one language into another.

There exist several reputable language proficiency scales:

ILR scale: The U.S. Interagency Language Roundtable descriptions of proficiency levels 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 characterize spoken-language use (

ACTFL scale: Developed from the U.S. Federal Government’s ILR scale by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, the ACTFL proficiency scale has four main levels (Novice, Intermediate, Advanced, Superior). The first three levels are each subdivided into three sublevels (Low, Mid, and High) (

CEFR scale: The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, Teaching, Assessment is a guideline used to describe achievements of learners of foreign languages across Europe and, increasingly, in other countries. The CEFR distinguishes between four kinds of language activities: reception (listening and reading), production (spoken and written), interaction (spoken and written), and mediation (translating and interpreting). Four broad domains are distinguished: educational, occupational, public, and personal. A language user can develop various degrees of competence in each of these domains and to help describe them the CEFR has provided a set of six Common Reference Levels (A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2). (

IELTS scale: The International English Language Testing System is an international standardized test of English language proficiency for non-native English language speakers. It is jointly managed by the British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge English Language Assessment. No minimum score is required to pass the test. An IELTS result or Test Report Form is issued to all test takers with a score from “band 1” (“non-user”) to “band 9” (“expert user”) and each institution sets a different threshold. (

TOEFL scale: Test of English as a Foreign Language is a standardized test to measure the English language ability of non-native speakers wishing to enroll in English-speaking universities. TOEFL is scored on a scale of 0 to 120 points by adding scores from each of the four sections (Reading, Listening, Speaking, and Writing) which each receives a scaled score from 0 to 30. The test is accepted by many English-speaking academic and professional institutions; each institution establishes the minimally accepted score which varies from 61 to 111. (

What language proficiency tests do you accept?

Please note: our Language Proficiency for Interpreters (LPI) requirements for certification are shifting soon. Keep an eye out for updates as well as an informational webinar in April 2023.

Currently, in our profession, there is no standardized inventory of language proficiency exams that has been validated through an evidence-based process. For that reason, CCHI does not have a preference about and does not approve/recommend any specific language proficiency testing services.

In addition to the testing entities like LTI (the exclusive licensee of ACTFL assessments,, TOEFL (English proficiency,, or Gallaudet University (American Sign Language Proficiency Interview or ASLPI,, testing can be provided by a college, a language company or an employer utilizing their specific vendor. Any language proficiency test that you submit to us needs to have an oral component including both speaking and listening. The actual selection of a testing entity is up to you.

Because various exams have different scales, we do not have specific guidelines about what score on such exams is required. Keep in mind that you may submit an interpreting test result instead of a language proficiency test. The language proficiency or interpreting test score should reflect the applicant’s ability to perform the duties of a healthcare interpreter. That said, we review all submitted documentation in its totality to determine applicants’ eligibility.

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